Jan 1, 2012 Wrangell, AK

We awoke feeling refreshed on the New Year, ready to tackle a mountain of tasks.  Pete slept an incredible 14 hours, which I’ve never known him to do, and I got my fair share of sleep too.  Yesterday’s lack of food left me salivating for a hearty wintertime breakfast and Pete obliged.  I sat snug next to the heater with my cup of coffee while the bacon sizzled and eggshells were cracked over the skillet.  Minds alert and bellies satisfied, we set out to accomplish our first real order of business for the day, procuring the firewood that we had cut and stored months before.  Firewood, apart from food and water, was key to our survival for what we referred to as our arctic voyage.  Before departing AK last fall, our friend Jerry had kindly provided us with a hefty stack of pallets and a circular saw.  Pete worked steadfastly to zip up the wood into lengths that would fit just so into our wood stove and store nicely on the boat.  Back in AK, we looked forward to again feasting our eyes on the fruits of our labor, and were pleased to have such an abundance of wood waiting for us.

After a round of coffee at Jerry’s place, we headed next door to the neighbors’ trailer where our wood sat in an adjacent storage area.  According to Jerry, the neighbor murdered somebody inside of his house some years ago and is now behind bars for the foreseeable future.  The neighbor is unknowingly doing us a great favor by providing us with a storage facility!  We loaded Jerry’s pickup truck with a huge plastic fish tote full of wood, plus a few more bucket’s worth.  Jerry, our generous benefactor, slid the tote down the harbor’s steep ramp and then glided it along the icy boardwalk to the boat’s slip.  Pete and I worked quickly to unload and stow the wood in our quarter berth bins, racing against the rain that threatened to soak our precious wood, our lifeline for winter cruising.  With no room to spare after the final pieces were stowed, we had expertly eyeballed the exact amount of wood needed.  It felt satisfying to have a healthy winter supply in tow.  Now that we had wood to burn, Pete polished the rusty cast iron stove in preparation for the year’s first fire.  After months sitting in this rain forest environment, the boat needed a thorough drying out.  We sat snug and toasty next to the woodstove, feeling at home back on Privateer after a three-month long hiatus.  Though we shift between land and sea, we spend much of the year on the boat and she provides a home like no other-stout, simple and cozy and suited to our adventurous, nomadic whims.

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